Sound Policy

This sound policy has been developed as a means to accomplish the goals of respecting the gift of sound art, respecting the rights of those that do not wish to engage in sound art, respecting the land owners and the neighboring community, and minimizing the risk of noise complaints to local law enforcement. We must respect the landowners and their neighbors, or we risk losing our venue and our ability to continue to fund local interactive artists.  Afterburn is an Interactive Art event, not a music event.  Sound is merely one form of interactive art represented at the event.  We respect sound as an interactive art form, however, unlike other forms of interactive art, if amplified in excess sound has the ability to infringe upon other participants’ right to not engage in it.  Yes, we realize your amplified sound is your form of Radical Self-Expression, but that Principle also reminds you that “It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.”

General Policy

No Participant may operate an amplified sound system within the event boundaries of Afterburn without permission from Burnt Oranges. All amplified sound must strictly adhere to the rules and regulations set forth in the Burnt Oranges Sound Policy.

 Every amplified sound system must be pre-registered and a Sound Sponsor must sign the Sound Release Form indicating that he/she will be responsible for ensuring that the sound system is operated in accordance with the Burnt Oranges Sound Policy. Every Sound Sponsor must display the Sound Permit received from Burnt Oranges conspicuously near the sound system for the duration of the event. A specific decibel limit will be set prior to each year’s event and is subject to change at any time at the request of Burnt Oranges or the Afterburn Committee. Failure to comply with the Burnt Oranges Sound Policy or failure to comply with explicit directives from Sound Marshals, Rangers, or the board members of Burnt Oranges will result in consequences as outlined in the procedure section of the Burnt Oranges Sound Policy. Decibel levels are designed to protect the event from external complaints. However, this level may not be appropriate at the event during certain hours of the day or in certain locations/situations.

In the spirit of community, lower decibels can and may need to be negotiated due to internal conflicts within the Afterburn community. These internal negotiations are expected to be fair and reasonable with utmost respect given to artistic expression while also taking into account the needs of the greater community.

We will be limiting the number of amplified sound camps to 3 or 4.  Other camps may use amplified sound, however the decibel limit for these will be much lower.  These camps must still register their sound system, but decibel limits for these camps will be set at the event.



  • Prior to the event, a sound camp representative must register the camp and include in the description the proposed sound, camp specifications, and any questions/concerns regarding amplified sound at the event.
  • Camps or individuals planning to bring amplified sound to Afterburn must designate a Sound Sponsor for their amplified sound system.
  • The Sound Sponsor designates up to four additional people to act in his or her stead at the event. These should be individuals that the Sound Sponsor trusts since it is the Sound Sponsor who is ultimately responsible for how the sound system is operated.
  • Prior to the event, the Sound Sponsor completes and signs the Sound Release, including the names of any additional representatives in the provided blanks.

During Event

  • After being placed by the camp placer, the Sound Sponsor and, if possible, his/her representatives meet with a Sound Marshal.
  • The Sound Marshal inspects the sound system and collaborates with the Sound Sponsor regarding the placement and orientation of the sound system.
  • A sound check will be conducted, and decibel limits set before any system is allowed to operate.
  • The Sound Marshal ensures that the Sound Sponsor and, if possible, his/her representatives know how to monitor their own sound with a decibel meter.
  • The Sound Permit is displayed conspicuously near the sound system.
  • Sound Marshals roam the event and are available by radio. If no Sound Marshal is available, Rangers are authorized and empowered to operate in a Sound Marshal’s place.
  • Questions regarding the Burnt Oranges Sound Policy or its enforcement are directed to the Sound Marshals on site. Sound Marshals are not only able to help adjust sound levels, but also provide technical advice for maintaining compliance.
  • The Sound Sponsor or one of his/her representatives is readily available at all times when the sound system is in use.
  • If there is a sound issue and a Sound Sponsor or one of his/her representatives is not able to be found within 10 minutes, an on-duty Sound Marshal, Ranger, or member of Burnt Oranges is authorized to lower sound levels or turn the sound source off as deemed necessary.
  • All sound systems operate at or under their assigned decibel limit at all times.
  • Sound Marshals resolve minor decibel infractions by locating the on-duty Sound Sponsor and requesting appropriate changes be made.
  • If told to do so by a Sound Marshal, Ranger, or a member of Burnt Oranges, a Sound Sponsor or his/her representative will comply with directives to turn down the sound.
  • Sound Policy infractions are recorded in the Sound Log and reviewed at each shift change by the Sound Marshals, Rangers, and Burnt Oranges.
  • In the event of a formal noise complaint from an external source, Sound Marshals and Rangers are dispatched to immediately drop the overall decibel limit. This could mean anything from a slight drop in sound level to a complete silence of all systems.


  • If a sound producing entity is found to be in violation of the Sound Policy, Sound Marshal(s), Ranger(s), and/or member(s) of Burnt Oranges address the problem.
  • Entities operating amplified sound without a valid permit are subject to the disabling and seizing of all equipment until the conclusion of the event.
  • Entities violating the Sound Policy will receive a verbal warning and will turn their levels down to the levels set by the Sound Marshal, Ranger, and/or member of Burnt Oranges.
  • All infractions are logged in the Sound Log and reviewed at shift change by the Sound Marshals, Rangers, and members of Burnt Oranges.
  • A second violation may result in a second verbal warning or the shutting down of the sound system for 24 hours, at the discretion of the Sound Marshal(s), Ranger(s), or member of Burnt Oranges.
  • A third violation, and/or gross negligence regarding the Sound Policy will result in the violating sound source being shut down for the remainder of the event.
  • If this occurs, the violating sound source will need to be removed from the event. If the Sound Sponsor is unwilling or unable to remove the sound source, Burnt Oranges will remove the sound source to a secure location for the remainder of the event with assistance from the Sound Marshal, DOGS, or Ranger, as required. Only a Board member is authorized to remove a sound source.
  • Refusal to comply with the Sound Policy is grounds for ejection from the event.
  • The Sound Sponsor is responsible for any accidental damage or theft that may occur if a sound source is impounded.


  • In the event that there is a formal complaint lodged by a local resident or a county official, event-wide sound will be dampened within 10 minutes.
  • To maximize response speed, the Rangers will assist the Sound Marshals and the Board in communicating the situation to all sound producing entities.
  • Should this occur, all sound-emitting entities are required to immediately adjust their sound output as determined by the Sound Marshal(s), Ranger(s), or member(s) of Burnt Oranges.
  • Acceptable sound levels during emergency sound abatement will be much lower than during the event, and may be as extreme as silence in bass frequency ranges (“cut subs”), or possibly all frequencies (“cut sound”).
  • When emergency sound abatement procedures are concluded, decibel levels will likely need to be adjusted lower to prevent such an event from happening again.


Due to being on a new property we will be setting decibel limits and turn down times at the event based upon how the sound travels. We will do our best to work with each sound camp to maximize their sound potential throughout the event. We appreciate your cooperation as we determine the new levels at this property.

Sound readings will be conducted at a distance of 50 feet from the sound source.

  • 10:30 PM – 12:30 AM: Amplified Sound Camps: Outdoor Subwoofers turned off. Other Amplified Sound: TBD. No bursts from large fire cannons.
  • 12:31 AM – 2:30 AM:  Bass turned off & Decibels TBD.  No bursts from large fire cannons.
  • 2:31 AM – 9:59 AM: No Bass, TBD Decibels.  No bursts from large fire cannons.  Sound is limited to ambient, chill, and live instruments (drums must be baffled). 
  • 10:00 AM – 10:30 PM: Bass and decibels allowed up to approved limit set by Sound Marshall at check in.


Sound travels through air (for the most part). And it travels through cold and damp air the best. This is why sound carries farther at night and you can hear sounds from very far distances, particularly after midnight and as the dew point is reached in the air. Burnt Oranges recommends the following to help mitigate this.

‘De-coupling’ the Sub Woofers

Subwoofers placed flat on the ground sound about TWICE as loud at distance than subs elevated somehow, like up on the stage.  A good suggestion is to place pallets on the ground with packing blankets as buffers between the speaker and the pallet. The low end will still sound loud and punchy on the dance floor where it matters, but will drop off dramatically as you move away from the action.

Low end is not directional; so physically pointing the subwoofers away from the neighbors will not help. Stopping the subwoofers from transmitting their energy into the ground is the key here.


We encourage sound camps to limit the volume with the use of a ‘compressor/limiter’.  In addition, we suggest that the compressor/limiter should be located away from where the DJ’s or talent can mess with it.

A great compressor/limiter for playa/burner use is the Behringer AUTOCOM PRO-XL MDX1600 which retails for about $99. Plus cables for around another $25 or less to interface with DJ rigs.

Sound Monitor Performances

DJs/musicians are encouraged to have a second person present to monitor and dynamically adjust sound levels during their performance to comply with the levels for which they are authorized.

For more information, or to register your sound system, email .

Updated: 10-9-2019